May 19, 2022

From Champaign to Nashville: Valerie Hotchkiss Named New University Librarian at Vanderbilt U.

From Vanderbilt University:


Valerie Hotchkiss Named New University Librarian at Vanderbilt University (Source: Vanderbilt U.)

Valerie Hotchkiss, a visionary librarian and scholar with a deep commitment to making library resources central to the research needs of students and scholars, has been named university librarian at Vanderbilt.

Hotchkiss, who will begin her new appointment Aug. 1, is the Andrew S.G. Turyn Endowed Professor and director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the past decade, she has managed one of the largest collections in the United States. She is also a professor of medieval studies and library science, with a strong interest in the cultural significance of libraries.


Hotchkiss will serve as the executive administrator of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, with responsibility for nine divisional libraries: Central Library, Special Collections and University Archives, Peabody Library, Divinity Library, Alyne Queener Massey Law Library, Walker Management Library, Anne Potter Wilson Music Library,Sarah Shannon Stevenson Science and Engineering Library, and the Eskind Biomedical Library. She also will oversee the Television News Archive. Her responsibilities will include collection acquisition and development, budgeting, staff, external partnerships, and strategic planning, among other duties.


At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hotchkiss built visibility for the collections and promoted the study of primary resources as an integral part of the school’s curriculum. She oversaw the acquisition of significant collections, including the papers of African American poet Gwendolyn Brooks and unpublished letters by French novelist Marcel Proust. In addition, she served as editor-in-chief of Women in Print, a digital humanities publishing project of the University of Illinois Press. The initiative was honored recently by the Center for Research Libraries.

From 1993 to 2005, Hotchkiss was the J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian and professor of medieval studies at Southern Methodist University, where she raised more than $16 million for the library’s endowment and introduced many new community initiatives, including hands-on workshops in printing and book arts.

She also served as library director for Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and was employed by Yale University’s Divinity School Library. She earned three degrees — master of arts, master of philosophy, and doctorate in medieval studies — all from Yale. In addition, she earned a master of library science from Southern Connecticut State University.

Hotchkiss, who grew up in Cincinnati, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts from the University of Cincinnati. During her undergraduate years, she also studied at the University of Tȕbingen in Germany.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.